] So context-free is the media environment that this
] ultimate act of participatory democracy was twisted to
] seem a left-wing plot. In the article, all exculpatory
] evidence had to come in the form of quotes from the
] Herseth campaign: "But a Herseth campaign official
] scoffed at the charge, saying the Web page is not secret
] and can be found easily with a standard search of the
] Internet." The journalist couldn't say that the charge
] was bogus, even though it was obviously bogus. He had to
] say that the other side said the charge was bogus. He
] couldn't even report the results of his own Google
[ This is a good read, and not too long. We're experiencing the teething pains, if you will, of a new media environment. The traditional media formats suck... they claim objectivity when they're either clearly biased or else so scared of being accused of bias that they publish "stories" completely devoid of insight or depth.
People have begun to prefer to get their information from outlets whose biases are transparent and well known, because it's so much easier today to aggregate many, many points of view on any topic or meme, and get your "fair and balanced" by individually reading a whole bunch of sources.
On the specific topic at hand, I didn't even really think Kos' statement was that horrifying, just a little too angry in how he phrased it. But that's because I've been reading long enough to know his background and where he's coming from and, like any of my realworld friends, I can filter what he meant out of what he said, and I can forgive moments of indiscression. I certainly recognize that anyone publishing to a large audience should probably be politic in their phrasing, but then, that sort of unabashed punditry is why blogs are so much more interesting than mainstream media. When someone takes a strong stand, or makes a powerful statement, you, the reader, are forced to react to it, to actually think about the statement and reach a conclusion. When people rely on the mass media outlets of today, they're left absorbing talking points whose authenticity is taken as unassailable.
The long term result has to be that people will engage the media and learn to form their own opinions from many different data points, rather than blindly trusting CNN or FOX or Reuters to define the truth. Truly I hope to see a time when people move beyond their blipvert addiction and start paying attention. -k]
Webblogs and the political scandal industry